These slow cooker baked beans are one of the easiest side dishes, with the most amazing flavor of sweet barbecue beans, you’ll want these all summer long!
These baked beans are cooked in the slow cooker till you have the perfect saucy beans, that are the perfect summer side dish! They’re perfectly sweet, and a little tangy, and so easy to make, making it a dish you’ll want to make again and again.
This slow cooker baked bean recipe is the perfect balance of sweetness, tanginess, and deliciousness. These beans are so flavorful, and so easy to make!
They’re saucy, but thick, and they turn out perfect every time!
They are perfect for serving at a potluck, summer bbq, and did I mention, they’re a must for the Fourth of July! I love pairing these with some grilled hot dogs, or cheeseburgers, some creamy broccoli salad, and my favorite pasta salad.
They’re also delicious served over nachos, or paired with some cornbread, or even with some grilled sausage sliced up and added to the mixture to make them extra meaty!
Ingredients needed to make Baked Beans in the Slow Cooker:
- bacon – adds a nice savory flavor to the baked beans
- barbecue sauce -use your favorite barbecue sauce, you can go with something more sweet, spicy, or in between. My favorite is original Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce.
- brown sugar – I love sweet baked beans, but you can cut the brown sugar in half for a less sweet mixture
- molasses – Adds a little more sweetness
- mustard – yellow or dijon mustard can be used, this adds just a little contrast to the sweetness
- navy beans – these beans are just waiting to soak in the flavor of your yummy sauce.
- yellow onion
How to make Slow Cooker Baked Beans?
Add the bacon pieces to a large saute pan and cook them over medium heat until the bacon is lightly crispy. Place the bacon on to some paper towels, and blot carefully to soak up the extra grease.
Add the beans, bacon, onion, bbq sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, molasses, and mustard to the slow cooker and stir it all together.
Cook the mixture in the slow cooker, and serve hot.
Tips and Variations:
- Skip the bacon if you want to make this a vegetarian recipe.
- You can also double the bacon if you want more.
- Instead of navy beans you can also use cannellini beans, or Great Northern beans for another white bean option. You can also substitute kidney beans, pinto beans, or even black beans for a different kind of beans. You can also try a combination of 3 to 4 of the different beans listed here.
- If you want your beans to be a little less saucy, add 1 more can of beans.
- You can substitute about 2 cups of dry beans for the canned beans in this recipe. Make sure to soak them for at least 8 to 12 hours, in a big bowl of water with 1 TBS of salt. Drain the water once soft, and use as directed.
- Add 1/2 cup diced green pepper for another yummy flavor addition, sauté it up with the onion..
- Try adding in 1 pound of cooked and drained ground beef, or ground sausage instead, or in addition to the bacon for meatier beans.
- Add some chipotle chili powder (about 1/2 teaspoon), or sriracha sauce (about 2 TBS) for a kick.
Can I make these on the stove top?
Instead of making these barbecue beans in the crock pot, you can also make them on the stove. Instead of adding everything to a slow cooker, add everything to a large heavy pot on the stove over medium low heat for about 1 hour until thick, and saucy, and delicious.
How to store baked beans?
Store any cooled, leftover baked beans in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4days. Reheat the beans in a bowl in the microwave, or in a pot on the stove until hot throughout.
You can also freeze slow cooker baked beans. Store them in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 3 months. Let them thaw overnight in the fridge, then heat them up on the stove top over medium low heat until hot throughout.
These are the best baked beans, they’re easy, delicious and the perfect side dish!
More summer side dish recipes:
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Slow Cooker Baked Beans
- 8 oz bacon (sliced)
- 3/4 cup diced yellow onion
- 60 oz navy beans (drained and rinsed)
- 2/3 cup barbecue sauce
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 2 TBS mustard (yellow or dijon)
- Cook up your bacon pieces in a large skillet over medium heat until it is crispy. Place the bacon on paper towels, and blot to absorb the extra grease. Set it aside for a few minutes to cool.
- Add the diced onion to the pan with the bacon grease and cook it up over medium heat for a few minutes until it starts to soften.
- Add the beans, bacon, onion, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, molasses, and mustard to the slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours. Or on high for 2 to 3 hours. (If your slow cooker runs hot, make sure to stir these a couple times near the end of the cooking time, the last couple hours or so) **
- Serve hot.
These slow cooker baked beans were first posted on June 3, 2013. The photos and text were updated for clarity on May 27, 2022.
I am from the south and we love our Baked Beans but have never heard of putting cloves in the beans before, but recently I was at a pot luck dinner and someone brought Baked Beans that included the cloves, at first I could not make out what I was eating, the cloves were so overpowering to the dish you couldn’t taste anything else. I figured out what it was and decided real fast that was not for me, I don’t think it adds anything good to the Baked Beans, it just doesn’t belong in there, it almost caused me to out loud ‘ewe’ but I held that remark in thankfully.
There are so many different varieties of baked beans, many of them have cloves, some don’t. That’s the great thing about cooking is you can edit the recipes to your own tastes. It’s such a small amount of cloves in this recipe it’s not overpowering.
Darlene Maroni says
I cant wait to try this recipe!!
sheila l. says
You have to soak overnight, then as the package says ” parboil the beans until the skins crack when blown upon.”
This is a stupid question, but would you just leave out the water if you are using canned beans? Or would you still need some?
Aimee Berrett says
I would drain your canned beans and add the water still 🙂
Rose Hain says
Once you add the tomato(barbecue sauce), the beans will not soften-chemical reaction. Best to cook the beans soft before adding to crock pot.
Aimee Berrett says
Rose, thanks for the tip. If you’ll read my instructions carefully I don’t add the BBQ sauce until the beans are done cooking. But maybe I should wait to add the ketchup at the end too?
I made these beans almost 2 months ago (father’s day) & I didn’t bring them to my father’s since they weren’t even close to being done after 8 hours that I did increase to high for about half the time. I had to cook them overnight too… A total of at least 20hours. I never did taste them either due to food poisoning lol. I didn’t have an appetite for days. I am making them now, but I cooked soaked beans with just the sausage (substituted) & onions 1st that cooked very well within 4hrs on high. Will add the other ingredients last since they hardened the beans or caused the super slow cooking.
These were such a disappointment! I followed the directions and soaked my beans overnight, but they just wouldn’t soften up in my slow cooker. My guests arrived and my beans were not even close to being ready. Even increased temp from low to high mid way through cooking. The flavor was good, but will use canned beans next time for sure!
🙁 I’m sorry that it didn’t turn out for you. I actually might just use caned beans next time too, just because it’s so much easier for me. Ill update the recipe once I try it
lisa clark says
Just saw this recipe and thought you’d like my bean cooking method. I have struggled for YEARS with how to cook beans to the right consistency until I found this way. I just cook a bunch at a time and freeze them. I have already cooked beans whenever I want them. It is marvelous. I plan on using this method and then making baked beans sometime soon.
Amber Brady says
Beans with molasses are the bomb!
Kacy Faulconer says
These beans look so good. I’m going to try them.
Thank you Kacy! Let me know if you do try them!